How Shopify Best Sellers Work

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Let’s face it – not all products are created equal. Some of your products are going to perform a lot better than others within your Shopify store. These popular products are typically referred to as best sellers.

In this post, I’ll cover Shopify best sellers including:

  • How Shopify best seller tracking works
  • What can you do with Shopify best sellers within your store
  • Why tracking best sellers using all-time sales may not be accurate, and what you can do about it

How Shopify best seller tracking works

Shopify tracks best sellers for a store automatically behind the scenes as each new order comes in. There is no extra configuration need to enable this feature. From Shopify’s documentation, they state:

The By best selling sorting option is determined by the number of times a variant appears in orders, and not by the total number of variant units that have been sold. The variant that has appeared in the most orders will be ranked first, and the variant that has appeared in the fewest orders will be ranked last. The collection sorting is re-calculated on a weekly basis.

In other words, Shopify tracks best sellers based on the number of orders that contain each product variant, not the number of variants ordered.

Also, it is worth mentioning that Shopify tracks best sellers for all-time, which i’ll discuss in more detail below.

What can you do with Shopify best sellers within your store

There are two main places you can use Shopify best sellers within your store:

  • Collection sorting
  • Reports

Collection sorting

Sort collections by best sellers

Shopify collections can be sorted By best selling. This best seller sorting applies to both Custom collections (a.k.a – Manual) and Smart Collections (a.k.a – Automatic). When this option is chosen, all products within the collection will be sorted based on Shopify’s best seller tracking rank.

See also: Shopify collection sorting docs


Shopify product sales report

Shopify provides different types of sales reports so you can see which products are selling the best within your store. These reports are only available on the Shopify, Advanced Shopify, or Plus plans (i.e. – not the Shopify Basic plan). Some of the product sales reports include:

  • Sales by product
  • Sales by product variant SKU
  • Sales by product vendor

See also: Shopify Sales report docs

Why tracking best sellers using all-time sales may not be accurate

UPDATE: Since this article was written, Shopify has changed their best seller range from all-time to be based on the past 30 days, calculated once a week. You can read more about how Shopify calculates best sellers here.

As mentioned above, Shopify’s best seller rank is based on all-time sales.

So why might this be a problem?

When best sellers are tracked using all-time sales, the best seller ranks may be inaccurate and misleading.

Why is this the case? All-time sales end up skewing the sales results as follows:

  1. Longer-lived products will have more all-time sales which may not reflect current sales.
  2. Newer popular products will not be shown as a best seller until they sell more all-time sales than existing products.

What can you do about it?

If accurate best seller sales is important for your Shopify store, you have a couple of options:

  1. You can track your recent sales yourself and manually sort your collections. This can be automated using the Shopify API.
  2. You can use my app, Best Seller Insights, which uses recent sales data for tracking best sellers.

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In this post, we’ve covered:

  • How Shopify tracks best sellers
  • How you can sort your collections By best selling products
  • The product sales reports that are included within Shopify
  • Why tracking best sellers using all-time sales may not be accurate
  • A couple of options for using recent sales data for your best sellers

If you have any questions about Shopify best sellers, let me know in the comments.

One Comment on “How Shopify Best Sellers Work”

  1. Pingback: Why you should be promoting your Shopify best sellers - Burst Commerce

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